Holmes beach could tear down couple's tree house - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Holmes beach could tear down couple's tree house

Posted: Updated:
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A Holmes Beach couple wants to finish building the tree house of their dreams, but now the city is telling them to tear it down.

The couple is still awaiting word on when the city will act.

The two story structure is found on an Australian pine tree off Avenue E in Holmes Beach.

Richard Hazen and Lynn Tran's tree house is not one you would normally find in any back yard.

It's two stories tall, complete with a hammocks and a perfect view of the Gulf of Mexico.

The couple wanted a cozy spot to relax and get away, and this tree was the perfect solution.

"We take naps up here, a glass of wine, watch the sunset," said Hazen.

In April 2011, Hazen asked a city building official for permission to build a tree house, and they were told no permits were required.

Tran said, "[The building official said:] Just go ahead, make it safe so no one falls out."

But a few weeks ago, a code enforcement officer sent a notice saying the tree house violates building codes and is dangerous to the public.

In the violation notice, the city says they may have been misled into believing that this was supposed to be some kid's tree house.

Hazen said, "I have no son, I never said I had a son, and I don't plan to have a son."

In the letter, Code Enforcement Officer David Forbes wrote, "To be frankly blunt, if you did not receive a written response to a detailed submittal then no approval can be inferred from a casual conversation."

The letter says if the couple didn't comply or tear down by Wednesday, they could be fined up to $500 a day.

"I can't afford to give them $500," said Hazen.

The couple have not heard from the city at this time. Tran said she expects the city to reach out next week.

Tran said, "Somebody would probably say ignorance is not an excuse, but honestly when they say ‘no permits required', how many people ask for paperwork when they say ‘no permits required'?"

The couple already spent $20,000 on the project but the city says that doesn't matter, it was built illegally so it must come down.

Hazen and his wife has started an online petition to save it and it's already collected hundreds of signatures.

The couple have also hired an attorney that is aggressively fighting the city.

News Channel 8 reached out to a city official but has not heard back yet at this time.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Demand for police body cameras spike after Ferguson shooting

    Demand for police body cameras spike after Ferguson shooting

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:30:08 GMT
    Body cameras are used by several law enforcement agencies in Florida but not many in the Bay Area. Sarasota Police announced this week they will begin using body cameras on police officers with a pilot program.
    Body cameras are used by several law enforcement agencies in Florida but not many in the Bay Area. Sarasota Police announced this week they will begin using body cameras on police officers with a pilot program.
  • Florida trucker records crash, then helps

    Florida trucker records crash, then helps

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:12 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:12:27 GMT
    News Channel 8's Peter Bernard interviews trucker David Fredericksen via SkypeNews Channel 8's Peter Bernard interviews trucker David Fredericksen via Skype
    Dash cam video rolled as David Fredericksen and his co-driver witnessed a horrible crash outside Biloxi Mississippi. It happened last Monday, as they drove a load of orange juice in a large tanker truck. A grandmother driving her young granddaughter lost control and slammed into a semi, igniting the truck's fuel tanks.
    Dash cam video rolled as David Fredericksen and his co-driver witnessed a horrible crash outside Biloxi Mississippi. It happened last Monday, as they drove a load of orange juice in a large tanker truck. A grandmother driving her young granddaughter lost control and slammed into a semi, igniting the truck's fuel tanks.
  • Town N' Country grandmother fears intruder, shoots grandson by accident

    Town N' Country grandmother fears intruder, shoots grandson by accident

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:40 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:40:13 GMT
    Photo of Tyler Maddox courtesy of Facebook.Photo of Tyler Maddox courtesy of Facebook.
    Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of a shooting in Town N' Country just before 1:00 A.M. early Tuesday morning.The sheriff's office gives a chilling account of the events that led to the shooting.In the middle of the night, Linda Maddox, 63 heard a noise and grabbed a .22 caliber revolver she keeps by the bed.
    Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of a shooting in Town N' Country just before 1:00 A.M. early Tuesday morning.The sheriff's office gives a chilling account of the events that led to the shooting.In the middle of the night, Linda Maddox, 63 heard a noise and grabbed a .22 caliber revolver she keeps by the bed.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Cops shoot and kill man in incident near Ferguson

    Cops shoot and kill man in incident near Ferguson

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:33:45 GMT
    Two St. Louis city police officers shot and killed a man who came within several feet of them brandishing a knife on Tuesday in a confrontation several miles from the turbulent suburb of Ferguson, authorities said.
    Two St. Louis city police officers shot and killed a man who came within several feet of them brandishing a knife on Tuesday in a confrontation several miles from the turbulent suburb of Ferguson, authorities said.
  • Dog saves newborn kitten, now pals for life

    Dog saves newborn kitten, now pals for life

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:33 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:33:17 GMT
    Roscoe was an injured, newborn kitten covered in maggots and pinned underneath a log, when he was found by Opie the dog. Imgur photo by Lia Spilka  Roscoe was an injured, newborn kitten covered in maggots and pinned underneath a log, when he was found by Opie the dog. Imgur photo by Lia Spilka
    A newborn kitten whose life was in danger when he was discovered by a curious pooch out on a walk, is now best buddies with the dog who saved him.
    A newborn kitten whose life was in danger when he was discovered by a curious pooch out on a walk, is now best buddies with the dog who saved him.
  • Morgue attendant admits to having sex with up to 100 bodies

    Morgue attendant admits to having sex with up to 100 bodies

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:30:56 GMT
    A federal court has made a ruling in connection with a disturbing case involving an Ohio morgue attendant who had sex with female corpses at work.
    A federal court has made a ruling in connection with a disturbing case involving an Ohio morgue attendant who had sex with female corpses at work.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.